Director of Communications

Housing Forward

Housing Forward’s mission is to transition people from housing crisis to housing stability. We provide a comprehensive solution to impacting homelessness and housing instability. Using best practices of Prevention/Diversion, Trauma-Informed Care and a Housing First Approach impacts the lives of 2000 adults and families with minor children each year. We have transformed the lives of more than 17,000 people since 1992.

Position Details

Director of Communications
Northern Illinois
Maywood, IL

The Director of Communications has a deep understanding of the role communication plays in advancing the organization’s mission and strategies and the intersection between programming and development activities.

The Director of Communication guides the strategic direction and provides the operational management to fulfill Housing Forward’s communication strategies and brand management. Working in collaboration with the Chief Development Officer, Chief Executive Director, and the Resource Development and Communications committee, the Director will translate big-picture vision into messaging, strategy, and implementable plans to build awareness, understanding, and buy-in among key constituents (major donors, volunteers, corporate & community supporters and congregational) and compel them toward action (partner, donate, volunteer, connect) as part of our solution to homelessness. The Director will be the lead team member responsible for creating and maintaining a center of excellence for internal and external communications. This position supervises the Communication Coordinator and is a member of the development and communications department and Housing Forward’s leadership team.


  • Participate in and guide the development and implementation of a strategic marketing and communications plan and its periodic update. 
  • Drives strategic communications that community organizational priorities and focus areas, including program and development. 
  • Manage the production, writing and design of key internal and external communications. 
  • Lead the effective design, content strategy and dissemination of print and digital content that engages target audiences and leads to desired measurable action. This includes social media, periodic digital and print newsletters, website content, action alerts, program information, advertisements and all marketing communications collateral. 
  • Direct the agency’s digital strategy and representation and proactively cultivate and leverage positive relationships with relevant journalists, publications, and media outlets across print, television, radio, and digital channels in local and regional media. 
  • Create and manage a growing library of video content that supports the brand identity and key messages. 
  • Ensures a regular repository of client stories which illustrate mission and key messages. 
  • Create and implement optimization process (SEO, SMO) for all digital communication media to ensure continuous growth of target audiences. 
  • Define, monitor and reporton performance of communications through analytics and evaluation; plan and execute corresponding strategies and tactics. 
  • Manage brand use across the organization to maintain consistency by developing and maintaining standards and guidelines of HF’s brand including but not limited to letterhead templates, agency marketing materials, email signatures, logos,banners, etc. 
  • Lead, manage and execute communications for campaign and event projects. 
  • Serve as internal expert on website design and content management and social media accounts; make recommendations to maximize user interaction and donor conversion. 
  • Engage in external relations, including acting as point person on pro/reactive media relations, developing and nurturing key media relationships, and supporting public speaking engagements related all program areas of Housing Forward. 
  • Manage brand use across the organization to maintain consistency by maintaining standards and guidelines of HF’s brand including but not limited to office branding, letterhead templates, email signatures, logos, etc. 
  • Serve as a spokesperson to represent and promote the organization at community, media, and networking events. 
  • Evaluate and manage relationships with marketing and communications vendors, contractors and resources 

Other responsibilities of oversight and management include:

  1. Electronic and printed communications to stakeholders, including Annual Report, program guides, impact reports, and other publications
  2. Speeches and presentations
  3. Management of Marketing calendar

Supervise Communication Coordinator and participate as part of the development team.


  • Undergraduate degree in marketing, communications or related field required; advanced degree preferred. 
  • A minimum of 5+ years of marketing and communications experience, preferably in a nonprofit setting. 
  • Proven ability to motivate and inspire others to grow awareness and support of Housing Forward among various constituencies. 
  • Track record of achieving measurable targets and goals that includes strategy development, best practices, and creative problem-solving 
  • Highly motivated self-starter and team player with strong personal work ethic, able to excel in a collaborative and results-oriented environment. 
  • Strong analytical skills with the ability to assess current operational effectiveness and needs Branding/marketing skills including thorough knowledge of digital and social media 
  • Excellent writing and communications skills; ability to eloquently articulate Housing Forward’s mission, programs and impact. 
  • Proven ability to coach and motivate team members to reach new levels of accomplishment and professional fulfillment. 
  • Proven management capabilities. 
  • Proficient knowledge of MS Office Suite, database experience. 
  • This position will require some evening and weekend hours as necessary, and the ability to provide own transportation. 
  • Must have smart phone to utilize Agency communication and collaboration tools.

Salary Range: $75,000.00 To 80,000.00 Annually

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